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IAG Announces Large e-SAF Deal With U.S. Company Twelve

The airline group including British Airways and Iberia has reached an agreement to achieve one-third of SAF target by 2030.

British Airways and Iberia aircraft at London’s Heathrow Airport (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Madrid-based International Airlines Group (IAG), a holding corporation controlling five airlines (British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, and LEVEL), has reached a landmark agreement with e-SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) producer Twelve for the purchase of 785,000 tons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) over the next fourteen years.

“We have a roadmap to achieve net zero by 2050 including a target to fly with 10% Sustainable Aviation Fuel by 2030,” said IAG’s CEO Luis Gallego in a press release.”The shortage of sustainable fuel globally continues to be a problem for our industry although innovative companies like Twelve are an important part of the solution. This new deal will contribute towards our 2030 SAF target. We would like to see similar projects scale in Europe, and we look forward to working with governments across our key markets to build a SAF industry to deliver jobs, economic growth and a stable supply of SAF.”

This deal will see IAG purchase approximately 12% of the amount of SAF available worldwide. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade organization representing 320 airlines accounting for 83% of total air traffic, SAF will be responsible for 65% of the reduction in emissions to reach net zero CO2 emission by 2050.

Although SAF produces the same amount of CO2 during the combustion to power jet engines, their manufacturing process is eliminating CO2 from the atmosphere producing a net-zero effect throughout its lifetime.

e-SAF Uses Renewable Electricity to Absorb CO2

e-SAF is a power-to-liquid process that converts renewable electricity, water, and CO2 into synthetic liquid fuels that can be used in aviation. The CO2 can be captured from various sources, such as industrial emissions, biogenic waste, or direct air capture. The renewable electricity can be generated from solar, wind, hydro, or other sources.

Twelve is a company based in Berkeley, Calif., that specializes in carbon transformation and power-to-liquid technology. E-Jet is the SAF solution created by Twelve that is fossil-free and has up to 90% lower lifecycle emissions than conventional fuels, and it is certified to operate with existing engines and aircraft.

The company is currently building a demonstration plant in Moses Lake, Wash., which will provide the first deliveries of E-Jet to IAG as of 2025.

This is the largest e-SAF commitment ever announced by a European airline group, which has earned IAG an award for “SAF Offtake Deal of the Year.”

Vanni Gibertini

Author

  • Vanni Gibertini

    Vanni fell in love with commercial aviation during his undergraduate studies in Statistics at the University of Bologna, when he prepared his thesis on the effects of deregulation on the U.S. and European aviation markets. Then he pursued his passion further by obtaining a Master’s Degree in Air Transport Management at Cranfield University in the U.K. followed by holding several management positions at various start-up carriers in Europe (Jet2, SkyEurope, Silverjet). After moving to Canada, he was Business Development Manager for IATA for nine years before turning to his other passion: sports writing.

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